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The Bazaar by José Andrés [4]

I think it’s perfectly fitting that my fourth visit to the Bazaar by José Andrés, came just a few days before the L.A. Times awarded the restaurant FOUR stars. I don’t have a rating system on MyLastBite, but if I did… I would give the Bazaar a TEN (out of ten).

Since the very first night the restaurant opened (I was there), I’ve been telling everyone about this “gift” that Jose Andres has given to L.A. I know times are tough, but if you can afford to eat out once in awhile and haven’t been to the Bazaar yet, then make a reservation now. Your spirits (and taste-buds) will be quickly lifted, and you’ll feel good that you did something nice for yourself.

I love the Bazaar so much that I find myself berating friends who haven’t been there yet. These are friends who eat out once or twice a week and just haven’t “gotten around to it”. I want to shake them and scream “Do you have ANY idea what you are missing?”. Thanks to S. Irene Virbilia (L.A. Times Restaurant Critic), maybe now they’ll finally go experience the magic for themselves. 

The Bazaar is not just a “special occasion” restaurant, although on this fourth visit we went to celebrate my nephew Cody’s birthday. Each time we go to the restaurant, Peter and I make sure to take family or friends, because it’s such an awesome experience to share with people you love… especially if you are celebrating something (or someone) special! 

What we ate:

Cody's Birthday at Bazaar, MyLastBite.com
Of course, we started the evening with my favorite… the 
Foie Gras Cotton Candy! Bites of foie gras rolled in crushed corn nuts then wrapped in cotton candy. My nephew Cody and his girlfriend Jade loved them! $5

Cody's Birthday at Bazaar, MyLastBite.comCaviar Cones with Crème Fraîche $8

Cody's Birthday at Bazaar, MyLastBite.com
Nitro Caipirinha $20

Cody's Birthday at Bazaar, MyLastBite.com
Making the Nitro Caipirinha (cachaça and lime) made with Liquid Nitrogen

Cody's Birthday at Bazaar, MyLastBite.com
“Not Your Everyday (Winter) Caprese” (Molecular Liquid Mozzarella Balls)$12

Cody's Birthday at Bazaar, MyLastBite.com
Steamed Crab Buns with Pickled Japanese Cucumber $15

Cody's Birthday at Bazaar, MyLastBite.com
”Just Shrimp Cocktail: Yea Right” $12

Cody's Birthday at Bazaar, MyLastBite.com
Alitas de pollo: Boneless chicken wings with green olive puree $9. These were so good, we ordered seconds!

Mushrooms toped with Truffles, MyLastBite.com

Chef Marcel Vigneron brought this special dish to our table. I can’t remember what is was called, but it was filled with mushrooms and topped with freshly shaved truffles. A wonderful treat… THANKS CHEF!!

Cody's Birthday at Bazaar, MyLastBite.com
truffles, lovely truffles!

Cody's Birthday at Bazaar, MyLastBite.com
Pisto Manchego con flor de calabaza: Sauteed peppers, zuchini, onions, eggplant and tomatoes with a beautiful poached egg. $9

Cody's Birthday at Bazaar, MyLastBite.com
Beef Hanger Steak and Piquillo Pepper Confit $10

Cody's Birthday at Bazaar, MyLastBite.com
Japanese Baby Peaches with Persimmon, Yogurt and Olive Oil $12

Cody's Birthday at Bazaar, MyLastBite.com
The incredibly gracious William Douillet making our “Dragon’s Breath”! Caramel Popcorn bites “cooked” in Liquid Nitrogen!

Liquid Nitrogen at the Bazaar, MyLastBite.com
William lifting the Caramel Popcorn out of the Liquid Nitrogen!

Cody's Birthday at Bazaar, MyLastBite.com
I love Cody’s face as he bites into the “Dragon’s Breath”!! Priceless.

Cody's Birthday at Bazaar, MyLastBite.com
Cody exhaling the “Dragon’s Breath”

Cody's Birthday at Bazaar, MyLastBite.com
Cody, Jade and Chef Marcel Vigneron

Cody's Birthday at Bazaar, MyLastBite.com
The Patisserie Menu

Cody's Birthday at Bazaar, MyLastBite.com
Nitro Island, specially delivered by the lovely Waylyn Lucas!

Cody's Birthday at Bazaar, MyLastBite.com
“Nitro Coconut Floating Island” Dessert $10

Cody's Birthday at Bazaar, MyLastBite.com
Apples Carlota $10

Cody's Birthday at Bazaar, MyLastBite.com
Jo, Felix, William, Dan, Jade and Cody. Thanks for ANOTHER fantastic evening!

At The Bazaar by Jose Andres, MyLastBite.com 
My wonderful husband, Peter.

Additional dishes we had (as well as previous visits):

Olives Ferran $8

Sweet potato chips $10

Toro (Tuna) “Nigiri”, Wasabi, Watermelon, Soy and Jalapeño $16

Jicama wrapped guacamole with micro cilantro and corn nuts $10

“Philly Cheesesteak”: Air bread filled with cheese and topped with Kobe beef $8

Lomo de corder con Patatas y trufas: Lamb Loin with Mushrooms and Potato. $14.00

Jamon Platter $32

Five Quesos: Murcia, Valdeon, Idiazabal, La Serena, Manchego $25

Jamon Croquettes $9

The Bazaar by José Andrés, SLS Hotel
465 South La Cienega Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90048
(310) 246-5555
http://www.TheBazaar.com

Bazaar photos on Flickr

Dining Date: 2/15/09

<– Bazaar Visit #3

–> Bazaar Visit # 5 and 6

Mentioned Above:

L.A. Times (Don’t miss the awesome video)

About Cody

My Adventures in Molecular Cooking

The Bazaar by Jose Andres on Urbanspoon

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Filed under Eating Out, Molecular Cooking

“Reverse Spherification” – Adventures in Molecular Cooking [2]

“Reverse Yogurt Spherification” 

Until very recently, Alginate and Spherification were two words that were never spoken in my kitchen. That was of course until I attended a mind-altering, WTF, OMG I-need-more-kitchen-counter-space “Molecular Gastronomy” class.

Yogurt Spherification 12, MyLastBite.com

After posting an article about the experience, I received an email from Hervé This, the French scientist and FATHER of Molecular Gastronomy. He kindly corrected me on the use of the words “molecular gastronomy”, and wanted me to understand that what I was doing was actually “molecular COOKING”, not molecular gastronomy.

Well…whatever it is I’m supposed to call it… “It” has taken over my thoughts, my bank account, and now my very crowded kitchen counter.

Before I continue, here are a few descriptions:

Sodium Alginate for Yogurt Spherification, MyLastBite.comSodium Alginate : 
Extracted from brown seaweed, sodium alginate is a stabilizer for ice cream, yogurt, cream, and cheese. It is a thickener and emulsifier for salad, pudding, jam, tomato juice, and canned products. In the presence of calcium and acid mediums, it forms resilient gels. It is a cold gelling agent that needs no heat to gel. It is most commonly used with calcium chloride in the spherification process.

Calcium Chloride : 
Food grade pellets used in post-harvest treatments of fruits and vegetables. Calcium chloride is also used in food and beverage processing, high fructose corn syrup production, and dairy foods processing.

Spherification consists of the controlled gelification of a liquid which, submerged in a bath, forms spheres. There are two kinds: Basic Spherification (which consists of submerging a liquid with Alginate in a bath of Calcium Chloride) and Reverse Spherification (submerging a liquid with Gluco in a bath of Alginate). These techniques can obtain spheres of different sizes: caviar, eggs, gnocchi, ravioli… In both techniques, the spheres produced can be manipulated, since they are slightly flexible. 

Reverse/Inverse Spherification. By inserting a product that already contains calcium into an Alginate bath, you can make spherical preparations with dairy products, olives and other foodstuffs. Instead of adding Calcium Chloride to the preparations you would use gluconolactate in proportion to the product’s natural calcium content, then conclude the technique by bathing the result in Alginate. Furthermore, inverse spherification allows the item to hold its jellification, which you would be unable to control in basic spherification. As the Alginate fails to penetrate the sphere in this method, jellification only occurs on the surface.  Read more about the History of Spherification.

I thought it would be EASY to find and purchase these ingredients online, but it wasn’t. The first “molecular cooking” ingredient I tried to buy was calcium chloride, which we used in class to make fruit caviar and pea ravioli. I searched Google and Amazon and ended up buying calcium chloride for aquarium use. What I needed was “food grade” calcium chloride, not a fish tank additive! 

Next I tried to purchase “Sodium Alginate” and came up empty, so I emailed my chef instructor and he sent me to the Le Sanctuaire website. Thankfully he noted that I should be searching for the word “algin” as well as “alginate”. For calcium chloride, I should also search for “calcic”. Jackpot! I ordered both and impatiently waited for their arrival by watching Ferran Adria and José Andrés video clips I had saved on DVD.

Yogurt Spherification 3, MyLastBite.comOn “Jose – Made in Spain”, chef Andrés did a spherification of yogurt. He explained that since yogurt had a high calcium count, it would be easy to do a reverse (or inverse)  spherification using the Algin. 

Anticipating the arrival of the Le Sanctuaire package, I had a large container of plain yogurt stashed in the fridge. I didn’t have an actual recipe to make the yogurt spherification, but I did have the “Made in Spain” video clip…. which I obsessively watched in slow motion to get the right measurements.

Yogurt Spherification 2, MyLastBite.com

Ingredients for  a “Reverse” Yogurt Spherification:

1 cup of plain yogurt

1 teaspoon of sugar

1 teaspoon aliginate

24 oz water

Fresh fruit of your liking

Honey

Yogurt Spherification 6, MyLastBite.com

Instructions:

In a large bowl blend the water and alginate with a hand blender until completely dissolved.

Strain the alginate water into another bowl and let rest for 30 minutes.

In a medium bowl, gently mix the yogurt and sugar together.

Next to the alginate bath, prepare another bath of plain water.

Yogurt Spherification 13, MyLastBite.comWith a round spoon, scoop out a ball of yogurt and submerge into alginate water.

Gently shake the spoon so you see a ball or dollop of yogurt drop beneath the surface.

Wait a few minutes then scoop out the spherified yogurt balls into the fresh water, to remove the alginate.

IT WORKED! Except for the fact that I made the balls too big at first, I was thrilled with the texture and mouth-feel of the yogurt. I could easily “pop” the skin with my tongue (after playing with it in my mouth first!).

Yogurt Spherification 10, MyLastBite.com

I served the yogurt balls with fruit and drizzled the top with honey. Terrific little dish for breakfast or dessert.

What’s next?? Well I recently ordered the elBulli Texturas Mini Starter Kit, and can’t wait for my next molecular cooking adventure! In the coming year I’m certain my kitchen will be filled with lots of tasty balls and scrumptious spheres…

 

“Adventures in Molecular Cooking” [1]


About Molecular Gastronomy:

Video of Hervé This discussing Molecular Gastronomy

Books: Molecular Gastronomy by Hervé This and Malcolm DeBevoise

Where to buy ingredients:
Le Sanctuaire

Texturas elBulli

elBulli Texturas Mini Kit, MyLastBite.com


Infusions LTD sells an elBulli “mini starter kit”. If the website states that they are out of stock (due to popular demand), just email them and they will contact you when they have more available.

 

Books about Molecular Cooking:

Under Pressure: Cooking Sous-Vide by Thomas Keller

On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen by Harold McGee

A Day at el Bulli by Ferran Adria

Alinea by Grant Achatz

Kitchen Chemistry by Ted Lister and Heston Blumenthal

The Big Fat Duck Cookbook by Heston Blumenthal

About the Chefs:

Ferran Adria (el Bulli)
Grant Achatz (Alinea)
Wylie Dufresne (wd~50)
Jose Andres (The BazaarPhotos

DVDs:

Decoding Ferran Adria: Hosted by Anthony Bourdain

==============

Ferran Adrià’s team demonstrates how to make fruit caviar

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Ferran Adria’s Pea Ravioli

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Molecular Gastronomy & Molecular Cooking  on TV:

Be sure to look out for a terrific molecular cooking episode of “Gourmet’s Diary of a Foodie” titled “The Inventors” (the series is currently in reruns). It features Herve This, PolyScience inventor Philip Preston (Anti-Griddle and Immersion Circulators) and Nathan Myhrvold, a former CTO of Microsoft turned Sous-Vide master.  Short video clip here.

José Andrés Made in Spain. If you missed it the yogurt spherification episode, it’s titled “Paella Day”

Read more about Spherification here

A recent Time Magazine article about Ferran Adria

Very excited to meet Ferran Adria!

Yogurt Balls Aka “reverse” Yogurt Spherification on Foodista

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Filed under Food Stories (written by me), Molecular Cooking, Recipes

The Bazaar by José Andrés [1]

The opening night of the Bazaar by José Andrés was supposed to be last Monday (11/10), but was delayed until last night (11/17). The restaurant is described as “a modern-day indoor piazza where guests and locals alike can enjoy pioneering culinary creations and intricately-concocted libations throughout several spaces: Bar Centro, Blanco, Rojo and the Pâtisserie.” It sounds a little intimidating I know, but when you walk in the front door the friendly staff are ready to lead you through the evening… and what a fun evening it was!

"New Way" Dirty Martini, MyLastBite.comThere were four of us for dinner, my husband Peter, my sister Janet and her husband Paul (whose birthday we were celebrating). We started off with drinks at Bar Centro, which offers a traditional bar menu and modern “new way” drinks. I ordered the “New Way” Dirty martini with spherified olives and brine “air”. I was really excited to try Ferran Adria’s “liquid olive” and it did not disappoint. If you haven’t seen the video clip of Ferran Adria making the liquid olive at el Bulli, then you may not appreciate it as much as I did. The segment was on Mark Bittman’s “The Best Recipes In The World” show on PBS. Episode 9 titled “The Cutting Edge”. It’s worth searching for online if you missed it.

Between the four of us we shared twenty dishes (including two desserts) from both the Rojo (traditional tapas) and Blanco (modern tapas) menu. In addition to cocktails we also tried the White Sangria (which was fantastic), Spanish Marge wine and then finished the evening with Pedro Ximénez Sherry.

Our server Skyler was fantastic. He was enthusiastic, paid great attention to us and really knew the menu inside and out. Simply said, Skyler was a wonderful guide on our trip through the Bazaar!

My favorite dishes (that I would definitely order again and again):

Philly Cheesesteak, MyLastBite.com
Philly Cheesesteak Air Bread filled with cheese and topped with Kobe beef $7.00
Mozzarella Tomato Pipettes MyLastBite.com
Mozzarella Tomato Pipettes with Micro Basil. These were so fun to eat! At the same time you bite the tomato, you squeeze the pipette into your mouth, a really tasty combination of olive oil and a creamy liquid mozzarella. $8.00

Organized Caesar MyLastBite.com
Organized Caesar with Quail Eggs and Parmesan Cheese. This plate was so beautiful we sort of just stared at it for a minute. There was only one quail egg and I was lucky to grab it! Delicious. $9.00

Japanese Peaches, MyLastBite.com
Japanese Baby Peaches with Yogurt and Olive Oil. Sweet and Tart. $12.00

Olives Ferran Adrià, MyLastBite.com
Olives Ferran Adrià. Our server Skyler scooped out the liquid olives from a jar tableside (below). The plate came with 4 olives, each on it’s own spoon. $10.00 for four “olives”.  If you don’t want to spend the $10 for four liquid olives, just order the “New Way” Dirty Martini… it comes with the olive!

Olives Ferran Adrià, MyLastBite.com
We also really enjoyed:

Croquetas de pollo, MyLastBite.com
Croquetas de pollo – Chicken and Béchamel Fritters. They tasted like chicken and dumplings mixed inside, crispy on the outside. $7.00

Watermelon & Jicama Guacamole, MyLastBite.com
Watermelon Skewers with Pedro Ximénez reduction and Tomato Seeds. A GREAT palate cleanser $15.00. Jicama Wrapped Guacamole with Micro Cilantro and Corn nuts (above right) $10.00

Braised Pork Cheeks, MyLastBite.com
Carrilleras de Cerdo con Naranja. Braised Pork Cheeks with California Oranges. $8.00

Gambas al Ajillo, MyLastBite.com
Gambas al Ajillo. Sautéed Shrimp with Garlic and Guindilla Pepper. $12.00

Patatas Bravas, MyLastBite.com
Patatas Bravas “New Way Jose”. José’s fried potatoes with aioli and spicy tomato sauce. $7.00

Chef Marcel Vigneron, MyLastBite.com
Tortilla de Patatas ‘New Way’ – Warm potato foam with a slow cooked egg 63 and caramelized onions. $9.00 (I watched former Top Chef contestant chef Marcel Vigneron make this. It was fun to see him working the foam!)

Bogavante a la Gallega, Galician-style Lobster Medallions with Olive Oil Crushed Potatoes and Smoked Paprika. $15.00

Selection of five cheeses, served with “picos”, Spanish crispy bread, quince jam and almonds and ‘Pa amb’ tomaquet – Toasted sliced rustic bread brushed with fresh tomatoes. The Idiazábal cheese was my favorite. $25.00

Tempura Avocado with Ponzu Air. $8.00

‘Rossejat’ de Fideos, Traditional fried pasta, paella-style with monkfish and shrimp, cooked in a seafood broth. $10.00

Butifarra con ceps y montgetes del gantxet ‘Daniel Patrick Moynihan’. Homemade pork sausage with white beans $9.00

Lomo de corder con patatas y trufas, Lamb Loin with Mushrooms and Potato. $14.00

Desserts: Apples Carlota, bread pudding and Traditional Spanish Flan with Fresh Cheese and Fruit.

Bazaar Desserts, MyLastBite.com

The Bazaar by José Andrés, SLS Hotel
465 South La Cienega Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90048
(310) 246-5555
Dining Date: Nov 17, 2008

Bazaar Visit #3

Bazaar visit #4

Positively Delicious Bazaar Reviews Posted on:

Gayot

CitySearch

LA Times

Yelp

José Andrés and Jo Stougaard MyLastBite.com
With Chef José Andrés at the
American Wine & Food Festival, Universal Backlot.

The Bazaar by Jose Andres on Urbanspoon

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Filed under Eating Out, Molecular Cooking